The problem with writing in the morning is the occasional bad night's sleep.
I'm feeling a little grouchy right now, even after my morning journaling time. I've not engaged my spiritual practice, but I'm feeling a little time-pressured. It's Wednesday and my long day at work. I won't get back tonight until after 9 pm, and if I try to write then I'll be up very late into the night and wake up again tired and a little grouchy. It's not a circle I would like to create.
If you want to write every day, there may be some days you might not be feeling your best while writing. And if you're writing about your own process, then that means being a little vulnerable before the eyes of others.
It might also mean that your words don't flow as easily as they usually do.
The image I have of that is walking down a stony path and not quite getting a good footing. Tripping a little, or a lot, every now and then. It might be hard to find your stride.
It's hard for me right now, but I'm taking Natalie Goldberg's words to heart and writing beyond the blocks. Those are my words, actually, distilled from her teaching.
In two and a half weeks I'll be heading to New York, to the mountains, not the city, for a writing workshop. I love the title of it. Writing the Unthinkable. Sometimes I think that if you offer a workshop that has a fabulous name, the title does most of your marketing for you. I'm not sure I remember the workshop description or what, exactly, we'll be doing there, but that title! In a month or so, I may be sharing a few wonderful integrated nuggets of gold from Linda Barry.
The thought of heading to the mountains is what is alive for me this morning.
I need a break. I'm working with a church right now that has some significant challenges and they were promised an abbreviated process. That's a lot of pressure and stress, and I am usually the one who carries that because I create the container for the work. Setting regular times away is so important. To clear my mind. To re-engage more healthy life practices. To take time for deep rest and spaciousness. To find my joy again after dusting off layers of setting myself aside to attend to others.
I notice that before I go away for these times apart from my usual doing to attend to my being, that my stress levels increase and I need to engage more radical self-care. That's why I'm cutting sugar and carb-heavy foods. I feel better when I'm not eating those things and when I'm making room for more protein, greens, and colorful veggies. I'm off fruit now too, which may sound counterintuitive, but they also are high in sugars, and I need to retrain my taste buds to enjoy the subtler flavors while I'm retraining my body to operate without so much sugar and the overdrive that it brings to my system.
I'm working the stress relief on multiple levels.
I want to detox my body a bit before detoxing my thoughts, feelings, schedule, and everything else that is out of balance right now. I have a teacher who likes to think of it as a reset. And part of resetting is the detox. Release and fill up. She recommends filling up with delicious, nutritious food and joy-bearing activities.
I'm laughing a little as I'm writing this because the other day I went in search of some fun activities that I thought might bring joy and some light social connection, and everything was scheduled on the days I work most intensively, Sunday and Wednesday. Today while I'm writing, Facebook is popping in to my writing (When did they start being able to do that?) with notifications for fun things I said I was interested in.
Tomorrow is Thursday, the day I dedicate to joy. It's my reset day in the week where I attend to myself and to the things that are alive for me. To the things that I feel are emerging as new interests and new landscapes to explore. To work I would like to develop. To writing I'd like to begin or continue or ship. Often I go to the farmers' market to enjoy the stalls with all their color, texture, and variety, and to buy what might be nourishing. From fresh flowers to fresh produce to artisanal items like olive oil, cheese, chocolate, Indian-cuisine sauces, pastured and local meat and poultry. There's usually live music, sometimes an outdoor yoga class. And so much more.
The vibe is as nourishing as the food that is on offer.
While working in my morning journal today, I noticed some intrusive thoughts coming in that needed to be turned around. As I was noting them, I could hear the sound of a jackhammer down the block. Tearing up someone's driveway apron. The connector between their house and the street. It's such an interesting correspondence.
Our thoughts connect us to all of life, around and within us. To be able to clear them and to fill up with more healthy and life-giving thoughts and emotions has the potential to change the way we enter the world around us and the way we return home to ourselves.
The Summer of Self-Love is a daily writing practice birthed June 1, 2018 as a container for harnessing three months for thriving. The goal at the end is to host a dinner party. Sounds like an odd Hero's Journey, doesn't it? Most of them usually are.